"Makes the Plastic Ono Band sound like easy listening" - Mark Jolly, GOURMET Magazine

A Feeding Frenzy is an interactive, 90 minute performance concert, centered around the fabrication and consumption of food. It is 'tailor-made' to it's performance whereabouts and realized in conjunction with the local co-ordinator/ producer. All the performers are selected from the local community. Even though it is a fairly large scale work, it is not necessarily a complicated event to stage. In simplistic terms, it involves five people preparing food, five people playing music and five people bringing food to the audience.

Basic description : The work involves simultaneous activity by 5 cooks and 5 musicians. They are all on stage for the entire duration of the performance. Waiters are employed to bring the prepared food to the audience. Each cook prepares and cooks food according to a menu which has been decided upon by that particular cook. The musicians interpret a time-based instructional score. The actions of the cooks are amplified by a sound system and are an integral part of the music. All the food is prepared and cooked by the cooks and then eaten by the audience. As a dish, or course is ready, it is quickly transported to the awaiting audience by one of the waiters. As there are several cooks employed and numerous dishes prepared, there is a regular supply and variety of food coming to the audience at all times. The progression of the food production is done according to the usual progression of a dining experience, starting with hors d'oeuvres, progressing to appetizers, on to the main courses, followed by desert, coffee and an aperitif. Live video of the event is projected on a large screen within the space.

The music : All sounds produced during the event contribute to the music, including sounds from the audience. The meeting between the cooks and the musicians is the essential essence of the work. The chosen musicians should be skilled in their craft, capable of interpreting an instructional score and well versed in the art of improvisation. Any form of instrumentation qualifies, -it is the artistry of the musicians themselves which is most important. To keep the music as fresh as the food, rehearsal time is kept to a minimum.

The food : Once the menus have been decided upon, each cook is responsible for buying their chosen selection of food. All types of food can be used for the event with the absolute exception that no foodstuffs should involve the killing of animals. This means no usage of anything that has a head, that runs on the land, flies in the air, or swims in the sea. All other edibles available on the planet can be used. Drinking water is made available for the audience. Plates, bowls, forks, spoons, chopsticks and cups are used to serve the food. The food is placed on the plates by the cooks and then given to the waiters who deliver it to the audience.

To date, 14 Feeding Frenzies have taken place in New York (USA), Berlin (Germany), Dijon (France), Miami (USA), Duluth (USA), Bergen (Norway), Umeå (Sweden) and Viitasaari, Finland.

  1. Bullet   Watch video of Feeding Frenzy

  2. Bullet   View photographs from Feeding Frenzy

  3. Bullet   Read excerpt from "Opera Gastronomica" by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett

  4. Bullet   Read article on Fast Forward in Gourmet Magazine

  5. Bullet   Read article about Bergen, Norway Feeding Frenzy (english)

  6. Bullet   Read review of Feeding Frenzy in Umeå, Sweden (swedish)

  7. Bullet   Buy recording of the very first Feeding Frenzy (CD: Same Same)

Production notes by Fast Forward -

" Each Feeding Frenzy concert is usually arranged and organized by myself and the 'on-site' producer. Together we select the performers, or they are recommended by other trustworthy individuals (people usually have recommendations). For each Feeding Frenzy, I compose a new score specifically for that event. Available musicians are taken into consideration, as are other aspects particular to that location. The work is not scored for specific instruments, but it is important that the musicians make 'sense' as an ensemble. The score is a time delineated text based score, giving instructions for specific time periods and contains no conventional musical notation (as a rule). The score is delivered to the musicians at least one week prior to the event to allow them to familiarize themselves with the it and make choices in advance.

The cooks are given guidelines . Their responsibility is to decide upon 10 different dishes, then shop for the ingredients and prepare the dishes at the concert. Each dish should provide ten '1 cup' servings.

There is no collective rehearsal for Feeding Frenzy. -The event is carefully planned, all the participants know what they have to do and the work is 'born' at the actual concert. This maintains a 'live' aspect which is essential to the work.

Feeding Frenzy was designed and composed to be a 'flexible work'. This means that it can be staged on many different scales. Consequently, the actual budget is dependent upon many factors....... the number of performers and performances, the size of the expected audience, the fees paid to participants, the allowance for food and drinks and the rental , or purchase of any technical equipment. Finding sponsors, or donations for various items can result in sizable savings in production costs. If the event uses all local participants, then it is just myself who requires travel costs. Each Feeding Frenzy is tailored to the particular situation. Once that situation has been fixed, then the actual costs can be more truly assessed. Please feel free to email me for a quote".

Download Production Requirements

Full Press Packet available upon request, email feedingfrenzy@mrfastforward.com


William Parker at the Kitchen, NYC

Gordon W and Nicholas Bussmann in Berlin